How far can you go with your BIC pen?

I was more than delighted when I saw the latest exhibition of the work of Ahmad Morshedloo at Assar Art Gallery in Tehran.

Ahmad Morshedloo draws, and he draws well.

0_20110825043049_morshedloo

I ask myself, however, why in this day and age of 3D binge computer digital mania would anyone still take pen to paper. I think it’s because drawing is personal and authentic. There is nothing in between the artist and the viewer but his pen or pencil. The fact that drawing is having a resurrection in our age of 3D printing and digital possibilities shows me that we as humans still need that personal touch. We are humans after all and, most of the time, humans like other humans. See for example Drawing Now Paris Fair dedicated exclusively to drawing.

People often think of drawing as the start of something else. But Ahmad’s work perfectly disproves this notion. His drawings stick in one’s brain like a haunting, moving enduring memory. It is art in its humblest, most sincere and best form. One board, one pen, one artist, one vision.

0_20110607055757_13_b

In his most recent exhibition at Assar gallery, Ahmed presents a series of portraits which are executed with incredible skill (just using an ink pen on a board). But it’s his subject mater which makes his new series even more exceptional.

0_20140420043059_4__untitled_from_the_negative_space_series_pen_on_cardboard_120x90_cm_2013___copy 0_20140420051009_7__untitled_from_the_negative_space_series_pen_on_cardboard_120x90_cm_2013 0_20140420044159_2__untitled_from_the_negative_space_series_pen_on_cardboard_120x90_cm_2012___copy

His subjects appear to be present, but absent, in some place deep in their own psyches. They look like they are waiting – perhaps at a bus stop, waiting, waiting, waiting – on a hot summer’s day in the Tehran pollution. When I look at them I can almost smell the gasoline and feel the summer heat.

0_20140421110317_10__untitled_from_the_negative_space_series_pen_on_cardboard_120x90_cm_2012 0_20140421110317_6__untitled_from_the_negative_space_series_pen_on_cardboard_120x90_cm_2013 0_20140420050036_11__untitled_from_the_negative_space_series_pen_on_cardboard_120x90_cm_2013

But that’s the true story of so many Iranians of my generation. The “waiting” game. Each time going to voting ballots hoping for something better, waiting for change. Each time hanging onto the words of people higher up, waiting for change. And yet the years continue to go by. Perhaps this answers the question of why some of Ahmad’s subjects look a little like they have been turned into stone. Stuck in time, stuck in the waiting game.

0_20140420045602_9__untitled_from_the_negative_space_series_pen_on_cardboard_120x90_cm_2013 0_20140420044846_5__untitled_from_the_negative_space_series_pen_on_cardboard_120x90_cm_2012___copy

Ahmad’s drawings show just how far and deep you can go with an ink pen and piece of board.

***

All photos courtesy of Assar Art Gallery.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “How far can you go with your BIC pen?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s